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    23 Products For People Who Hate When Their Nails Are A Mess

    Things to help you really *ahem* nail that at-home manicure.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Solaroil to banish the bane of your existence — weak and brittle nails with cuticles that look like they were mauled by a wild animal. Just massage this oil into your nails and cuticles every night before going to bed and, with daily use, your nails will begin to grow and strengthen.

    This formula is so effective, I guess you can say it really nails it. Eh?

    Promising review: "HOLY GRAIL PRODUCT. All my life, I've had super weak and brittle nails that would instantly break the second they grew out a tiny bit. This oil has changed EVERYTHING!! I’m shocked. I noticed after about a week of nightly use that my nails are growing (fast) and not breaking." —K. Black

    Get it from Amazon for $8.50.

    2. A formaldehyde-free Zoya polish designed with a wider brush, meaning you can disperse more polish onto your nail with just 👏 one 👏 stroke 👏. The brush also fans out a teeny bit, allowing for application onto the pesky corners of your nail. / Via @zoyanailpolish, / Via @zoyanailpolish

    Promising review: "Oh. My. Gosh. SO GORGEOUS! This is the most beautiful nail polish I've ever put on (I ordered the gold 'Tomoko' color), which looks luxurious and is great for the holiday season. Another added bonus is that it is very easy to apply and, if you are a beginner, this will work for you." —Berlyn

    Get it from Amazon for $10 (available in 32 colors).

    3. A Seche Vite bundle because the manicure you painstakingly complete today should not be chipped by *insert frustrated sigh* tomorrow. This base and top coat duo work in harmony to protect your nail beds from stains while also promoting a shiny, longer-lasting mani.


    Promising review: "This set has been a game changer for great quality home manicures. Since using the base and top coat, I regularly get asked where I got my nails done and if they’re gel because they look so perfect! I do my nails on Sunday nights, and before using this set I’d usually be touching up chips by Tuesday night. With this base and top coat, they easily look great through Thursday and sometimes last the whole week." —Ev

    Get this set from Amazon for $10.49.

    4. Decal stickers for custom nail art you’ll find yourself admiring constantly. “Thanks, I did this myself” will be a constant convo starter to anyone you encounter, even though they did not ask and most certainly do not care.,

    This decal sheet comes with ALL kinds of stickers ranging from roses and butterflies to hearts and birds.

    Promising review: "The decals lay smooth on your nails, last several days, and last even longer when you use a top coat over them. They're quick and easy to use and make my manicure look professional. Worth the money!" —elizabeth Griffin

    Get a sheet of 50 decals from Amazon for $5.99.

    5. An Essie polish available in a staple color that will never let you down: WICKED. This deep red hue is sure to become the ~little [almost] black dress~ of your manicure routine, with a high gloss finish that won't clash with whatever you're wearing. Ever.


    Promising review: "Wicked deserves all the accolades it gets. It's easy to apply, is the perfect vampy shade, and I still use mine frequently after buying it two years ago." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $7.99.

    6. A clear Mavala Switzerland polish purposely designed to have a bitter taste, the kind that will make even the most chronic nail biter think twice before snacking on a finger. Less nail biting = stronger nails, faster growth, healthier cuticles, and a longer-lasting manicure.

    Psst, this easy-to-use polish is safe for children over the age of four!

    Promising review: "I am 22-years-old and have been biting my nails ever since I could remember. Today marks 14 days without biting my nails thanks to this product! I found that I would often bite my nails without realizing it, but with this? There is no way you don’t realize you have your nail in your mouth. It tastes absolutely awful, but that’s the point!" —Brandon

    Get it from Amazon for $15.50.

    For more info, check out "This Miracle Polish Just Might Get You To Stop Biting Your Nails".

    7. A daily Cuccio oil you'll want to keep on hand if you're a gel manicure connoisseur (which, let's face it, destroys nail beds one acetone soak at a time). This blend of safflower, sunflower, and cotton seed oils works OT to strengthen your nails and hydrate your cuticles.

    This formula is available in two scents: milk and honey and pomegranate and fig. Both are equally delicious in scent.

    Promising review: "I really like this product! I try to take breaks from getting my nails done (hard gel, usually) since my nails get very thin and brittle between each set. This helps to make them look strong, smooth, and natural! It also keeps my cuticles looking fresh and adds a nice little shine to my nails!" —NMC

    Get it from Amazon for $6.38.

    8. A Tweezerman kit for anyone who's never sitting still. This clipper, file, and cuticle pusher comes packaging in a convenient little travel case, making it the perfect thing to store in your work purse or travel carry-on. (Because the only thing worse than having a hangnail is having a hangnail while on vacation.)


    Get it from Amazon for $8.99.

    9. Pre-cut foil with cotton pads in the middle. Their use? To soak off your gel manicure — the one you've already had for three weeks and is starting to peel/catch in your hair when you shower. You haven't had time to make it to the salon before it closes and that is FINE, because you can just remove it yourself.


    Just add polish remover to each cotton pad, wrap the foil around your finger, let it soak for up to 15 minutes, and bam! Your gel can easily be scraped off (you can use a cuticle pusher).

    Promising review: "I'm so glad I found these remover pads. It was ANNOYING cutting up foil all the time, and these little pieces of heaven changed my life. It saves me SO MUCH! The little cotton pad is already on the foil so all I have to do is load the cotton with polish remover." —Princess Nails by Diana

    Get a set of 250 from Amazon for $9.99.

    10. A Sally Hansen two-step gel system (featuring a color base and top coat) that provides all the benefits of your typical gel mani; lasts up to two weeks, has amazing shine, no chips after .5 seconds of wear. But the best part? It doesn't require a UV lamp and can be taken off with regular remover — no soaking required!

    Promising review: "My new obsession! I am obsessed with this and have received SO many compliments on my manicure. Perfect strangers assume I've paid a salon to make them this beautiful! I am constantly typing for eight hours a day, and each manicure will last seven full days without any chips or cracks. I've made it a ritual that every Sunday morning to wake up, grab a coffee, and remove my polish to start with a new one." —L. Kaba

    Get the first step from Amazon for $5.44+ (available in 80 colors) and the second step from Amazon for $6.27.

    11. OPI drying drops that layers your mani with jojoba and vitamin e, creating a barrier that both nourishes and protects your nails whilst they're still drying. Hasta la vista, pillow smudges! You'll no longer we be ruining my carefully applied polish.


    Promising review: "This stuff is awesome! I'm not sure how I'll be able to paint my nails again without using this stuff! Very simple to use. After applying my top coat I usually just need a small drop on each nail and then I just go lay on the couch and watch some tv or surf on my phone. Am I still cautious after using this product? Yes, but am I able to accidentally brush up a blanket or grab a drink without fear of smearing, smudging or otherwise ruining my newly painted nails? Nope! Worth the cost! I bought this about three months ago and have painted my nails at LEAST twice a week (really hard on my nails, work in surgery so I repaint them all the time) and I still have a full bottle." —Hippos

    Get it from Amazon for $12.83.

    12. A cuticle guard for DIY nail art aficionados (dammit Pinterest) and messy painters alike. Apply this latex formula around your nail bed, let it dry, and then proceed with your regularly scheduled mani — once that's done, just peel off the latex and say goodbye to the unruly polish residing on your skin.,

    Promising review: "This stuff is AMAZING. If you are a fan of nail art, or just a messy painter, this is a must-have! You only need one thin coat on the finger and it peels off, taking the messy polish that is off the nail plate with it. Simply paint this onto skin surrounding the nail and wait for it to dry. When the product changes from white to clear with glitter, it is ready to be used. Paint your nails as desired and then remove the latex." —GeekyKiki

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

    13. A quick-drying OPI top coat formulated by a magician (and several scientists) to transform your at-home mani from drab to fab. Just a single swipe of this and voilà! Your nails are now matte. Shine be damned.

    Promising review: "This stuff is amazing. I used this after applying one of my thinner nail colors that takes more coats for full coverage, and my nails were completely dry after about three minutes. I love the scent, it's lightweight, and I don't feel like I'm spraying chemicals all over my hands." —Morgan Pecukonis

    Get it from Amazon for $9.98 (available in ten colors).

    14. Color Street polish strips you simply press on, file, and go — no drying time required. Plus, they're available in a whole host of designs which make it perfect for anyone who *wants* one of those fancy manicures they've seen on Instagram, but can't fork over that kind of cash (#ONEDAY).

    Color Street, Via Color Street

    Get them from Color Street for $13 (available in 147 colors and prints).

    15. A CND finishing spray to speed up the whole "house paint dries faster than my nails" process. Just give your freshly-painted mani a quick spritz, and they'll be hardened in about ten minutes. No more chips, smudging, or tears due to effing up your nails whilst fishing in your purse for car keys!


    Promising review: "I've never used a drying product before, but I'm always on the go and seem to always smudge, smear, or otherwise ruin at least two of my freshly-painted nails within a half an hour of painting them. I decided to give this product a try and it works great! I sprayed about a minute after painting (per directions) and within eight minutes, my nails were tackiness, completely dry, and hardened." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $9.95.

    16. A buffer block capable of turning your nail beds into a clean canvas free of polish stains. It takes just three easy steps; file, smooth, and shine. The result is heathy, glowing nail beds that look like they were given a fresh coat of clear polish (and probably drink a ton of water on the daily).

    Promising review: "I’m completely blown away by this buffer. It’s every bit as simple as the directions indicate. You just follow the steps: 15 seconds of buffing with each of the three surfaces—first the silver, then the green/branded side, then the white. The combination is nothing short of miraculous. My sad nails went from dull with random stripping, to perfectly smooth, clean and shiny as if coated in clear polish. I’m going to order replacement pads now because this is a STAPLE." —HalJ

    Get it from Amazon for $12.95.

    17. A Zoya polish remover that actually won't destroy your poor, defenseless, already-pretty-darn-weak nails. In fact, this gentle formula will actually condition and prep 'em for a fresh coat of lacquer while the pump bottle prevents spillage and makes it super easy to apply product onto a cotton ball.

    This polish remover is free of formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin, which are icky chemicals that find joy in destroying your nails.

    Promising review: "This is the ultimate nail polish remover! Not only does it easily remove several coats of a dark color or glitter with ease, but the nail feels nourished and not scoured after! So in love with this product and the pump design!" —Amyss

    Get it from Amazon for $10.

    18. A tweexy ring because that bottle is *not* empty, the brush is just too short to reach the polish that's trapped at the bottom. This ring allows you to tilt the bottle and scoop up product, all while being held firmly in place on your finger. Translation? No more dark red polish spills on your shaggy white rug. / Via @thetweexy

    Promising review: "So all cards on the table, I felt ridiculous purchasing this. But it has so improved my self-manicuring skills that it's been a life-changer, and probably saved me a lot of money on manicures. If you have struggle with painting your own nails or have ever ruined your duvet by spilling a bright yellow nail polish bottle (not that this is from personal experience or anything), than this is a must." —Franimal

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99 (available in 20 colors).

    19. A concentrated O'Keeffe's moisturizing cream ideal for dry, cracked hands in desperate need of some TLC. This water, glycerin, and paraffin formula is used (and loved) by everyone from construction workers to people with eczema.

    Promising review: "Does this product need another five star review? Nope. But I had to. This is truly a miracle product!! I have the driest skin in the winter, to the point where I will look down at my hands and notice that they're bleeding from all the various cracks. This product made a major difference after just one use! Here I am weeks later and my hands have no cracks, look younger, and are no longer red." —P. Neuber

    Get it from Amazon for $7.29.

    20. A pusher and trimmer duo here to banish unruly cuticles to the pits of HECK. The trimmer features an ergonomic handle that makes it comfortable to hold, the pusher has a ~handy~ anti-slip design, both tools are made from surgical stainless steel, and the set even comes with a zip bag for easy storage.

    Promising review: "A good pair of cuticle trimmers is hard to find. These are GREAT! They are sharp, the blades come together perfectly, they don’t ‘stick’ and the double spring makes it super easy to use. I have small hands and was worried these would be too big for me to use comfortably, but they are perfect. The little pusher/scraper that comes with is nice and sharp too. I’m a professional nail tech and have used them all day today on clients and I will definitely repurchase. The chameleon color is eye-catching and makes my nail table stand out. The color hasn’t been damaged from disinfectant either!" —Rachel R. Robbins

    Get the set from Amazon for $7.97.

    21. Kiss nail adhesives for the person who'd rather do one million push-ups than wait for their polish to dry. With these, you just peel, press on, and that is it: no more sitting in salon chairs, no more bed sheet marks because the polish never dried properly.

    This kit comes with 30 different nail sizes and six accent nails to accommodate different nail sizes, and removal is a breeze — just soak your nails in polish remover for about a minute before gently peeling off the adhesive.

    Promising review: "OMG! These are great! I did not believe they would last as long as gels or acrylic nails, but they did. I put them on in less than five minutes and wore them for over two weeks. They are thinner than acrylics and look really natural." —Kelly Berner

    Get this set from Amazon for $5.97.

    22. A Sundays nail polish that is vegan, cruelty-free, non-toxic, and *doesn't* contain any of the chemicals found in most polish brands. The formula is also super long-lasting and the pigment is intense, meaning you can get away with just one swipe of color if you're in a time crunch. / Via @sundays_studio

    For manicure aficionados, this polish is free of dibutyl phthalate, TPHP, toluene, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, and tert-butyl hydroperoxide.

    Get it from Sundays for $18 (available in 44 colors).

    23. Precision point cotton swabs capable of getting into all the crevices of your nail beds. The kind of crevices that polish spills into, resulting in a home manicure that was very clearly done at home. Just soak these in some polish remover and swipe away any mani mistakes! Easy peasy.


    Promising review: "Best beauty tool ever! I have been using these swabs for years now! They are a must for eye makeup detailing (both liner and shadow), as they help with sharp edge liner and define more than an ordinary cotton swab can. I also use these swabs for nail polish removal and cuticle smoothing. They're so versatile!" —ljgfab4

    Get three packs of 200 from Amazon for $10.99.

    Looking at your chipped manicure as you type away at your work desk like:

    CBC Television

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Want more for your beauty routine? Check out these products for color-treated hair, this list of problem-solving products, the best under-$10 drugstore beauty products, or browse the rest of our beauty section for recommendations on everything from makeup to haircare.

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